Wednesday, 13 September 2017

SoberMummy's Coming Out




When I first quit drinking, I was terrified. And a (tiny) bit excited. But, most of all, I was ashamed.

I was ashamed that I was unable to control my drinking when everyone else around me seemed to manage fine. I was scared of being labelled an 'alcoholic'.

I was worried that everyone would assume that I'd been pouring vodka on my cornflakes at breakfast time and would label me an unfit mother.

So I didn't tell anyone. I said I was 'on antibiotics,' or 'doing a detox.' I said I'd 'given up for Lent.' Anything, rather than admit the truth.

The only place I told the truth was here, on this blog. But not under my real name, obviously. I created a pseudonym - SoberMummy. I figured that every time I wrote those words it would help to reinforce the fact that Mummy was Sober.

And through this blog I found an incredible thing: I was not alone. Not alone in being unable to control the booze, and not alone in feeling ashamed.

Isn't it ridiculous that when we quit smoking we can tell everyone and they treat us like a hero, yet you stop drinking and get treated like a leper?

Giving up gluten is trendy, yet ditching a toxic, addictive drug is considered weird.

I started this blog to help myself - as a form of therapy, then I discovered that it was helping other people - all around the world. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, all of you helped me back. It was like a giant, interwebby karmic circle.

More and more of you started writing to me to suggest I turn my story into a book.

The idea terrified me, but I figured that if we don't face our shame and shout out loud and proud then nothing is going to change. 

So I did it. I found a fabulous agent - Annette Green, and she sent my proposal out to some publishers. Amazingly, not just one, but several of them were interested.

My favourite team were from Hodder and Stoughton. They understood me and what I wanted to do, that I wanted to tell one small story and to change the world.

I wanted to let other women know like me know that they are not alone and to banish the culture of shame that surrounds going sober. I want to make clean drinking as fashionable as clean eating.

And now, after months of writing and editing and proof reading and legal checking, it's all done. And today the press release is going out.

Those of you who've read this blog from beginning to end will know my story, but the book talks a lot more about the day to day trials and tribulations of trying to become a sober mum in a world where everyone drinks. There's also lots of help and advice woven into the story and, I hope, a few good laughs.

Having spent years hiding behind a made-up name, I'm coming out good and proper. With a bang.

My real name is CLARE POOLEY. That's me at the top of the page. And this is the cover of my book, which is coming out on January 11th.

You can pre-order a copy (please do!) by clicking here.

(Also available on amazon.com for those of you in the USA).

Please help me to spread the word and change the world.




Love to you all. And thank you. For everything. Clare Pooley (SoberMummy)


52 comments:

  1. Hello Clare. Congratulations and best wishes with your brave "coming out". Looking forward to reading your book. Your blog is so helpful to me, guiding me through the various stages and helping me avoid any pitfalls along the sober road. 81 days today. Managed to navigate dinner with friends last night without anyone realising or commenting on my not drinking. Success! Chrisx

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  2. WELL DONE, WELL DONE - Clever and brilliant you! Wishing you all the luck - I love the way you write and express yourself and I'm sure I'm not alone xxxxx

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  3. Ahhhh congratulations Clare, much gratitude for all your stories! I can't wait to buy the book
    Claire Perth x

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  4. Congratulations Clare! On your book and your bravery... after my binge-read of your blog in January 2016 I'm still - happily - sober. Patti xx

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  5. Well done, I can certainly say that you've helped me greatly. Almost 3 weeks now. Will be definitely one of your purchasers.

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  6. Hurrah!! Congratulations!! and an Enormous Thank you!!! Big Hugs to You and all of us :-)))

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  7. Fantastic news Clare! you are such a beacon of inspiration for us all. Will be ordering you book today! Well done and many congratulations xxx

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  8. Woooo hooo!! So so happy for you and grateful for your guidance and help through my sober journey (300 days on Saturday!) I will be pre ordering my book straight away!!! Hugs congrats Clare and a massive thank you, big hugs :-) xxxxxxxx

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    1. Ooooh forgot, did you say your setting up a face book page?? And if your ever in the northwest doing your book launch then we will have to catch up for a hot chocolate!! Xx

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    2. Yes! News on the FB page next week. Will hold you to that hot chocolate! ❤️

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  9. Hi,
    I have been reading your blog since last year but have never commented (I don't think I have..)on your posts, anyway it has helped me tremedously and I always tell others to look at it if they are thinking of giving up drinking. However so funny you have revealed your name today as yesterday I was telling another friend about it and said oh just google mummy was a secret drinker and it will come up and she did and then it also came up about a book on Amazon and after I clicked the link on Amazon I knew it was you ! So anyway thank you Clare for your blog and I will definitely be buying your book. - My name is also Clare lol xx

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  10. Whoop whoop - you amazing woman. You are responsible for my 21 months sobriety. I cannot believe how fantastic I continue to feel. I will definitely be pre ordering your book. Can't wait to read it. Xxx

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  11. Hoorah! What a truly fantastic achievement, well done you. Just shows how your life can change for the better once you escape from the wine witch!
    I'm off to pre-order my copy immediately xxx

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  12. Absolutely delighted for you! Well done and congratulations!! So look forward to reading. :) xx

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  13. Ha ha thrilled for you Clare - you've done it. Congratulations. Don't think I would ever have given up drinking if I hadn't stumbled on this blog (nearly 18 months sober now). My life is profoundly different in so many ways. Thank you

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  14. congratulations!!!I have been reading for a while too. Love it.

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  16. Wooohoooo....well done Clare!!!! And congratulations on your book. I am sure it will be a hit and I'll do my best to promote it for you in The Netherlands.

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  17. Congratulations! Thank you, thank you, thank you for going through the fear and sharing your story with the world. I can't wait to see what happens next for you.

    -EW in Phila, PA

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  18. Congratulations! I can't wait to read the book.

    I want to thank you so much for being here. I hit my 'high bottom' on Tuesday morning after drinking my usual two bottles of wine and a cider chaser on Monday night (after promising myself yet again I would have NO MORE THAN ONE BOTTLE!). I felt grim, desperate and knew my drinking days were over, I'd had enough. To my horror, there was a fleeting voice in my head, telling me maybe in that case I should end it all. Just a whisper. Thankfully another non drama-llama voice told me not be so bloody RIDICULOUS - I just needed to stop drinking. So I started googling and found your blog. I read and read and read right from the beginning and found I AM NOT ALONE! Imagine that! I wept with grief and relief that it's over. I don't have to do it anymore. So, I am on day 3. And I'm a bit excited by it all. I know there will be tough times ahead but I know I can do it. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for being such an inspiration and sharing your journey. C xxx

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    1. So glad you found me, C. You CAN do this. Mail me if you need help sobermummy@gmail.com Hugs xxx

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  19. Congratulations! I am so excited for you. Tomorrow marks my 1 year soberversary and your blog was one of the first ones I found that truly hit home for me. Your story resonated with me and gave me the strength I needed, especially in the early days when I was so wobbly. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU. Because of your bravery, there is one more sober soul in the universe. :-)

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  20. Clare!! I'm all teary-eyed verklempt for you!! Congratulations on your book, what an exclamation point to your achievment. Well done, I hope to hear your voice on the interview circuit!

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  21. Congratulations! I've been reading from the start, but haven't stayed active, though I've loved reading your posts. Question: can we only pre-order the kindle version? I can't see how to pre-order a printed copy. And will signed printed copies be available? Thanks!! - Justine

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    1. Hi Justine! You can order hardback or kindle currently. The link I posted should take you straight to the hardback. There's no paperback yet, sorry!

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    2. Oh sorry. Hardcover isn't on the American site. I'll be patient! Thanks for the speedy reply :)

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  22. Massive congratulations Clare! I have been sober since January 2016 and would never have got to where I am now without your blog. I don't comment often but I always read, and often reread, your wonderful posts and all the great comments from others. You deserve all the success in the world. I'll definitely be buying a copy of your book. Thank you so much!!

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  23. Congratulations Clare. Its an amazing achievement and very much deserved.

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  24. Congratulations Clare. Its an amazing achievement and very much deserved.

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  25. Well done Clare. I have been reading this blog since the beginning of my AF journey 20 months ago and it has been so helpful, especially in the early days. I am sure the book will encourage so many others to believe that they too can live without alcohol. Good luck with it. Am off to pre-order my copy. XXX

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  26. Yay, Clare! So nice to really meet you. What an inspiration you've been. I am on chapter 5 of my own "coming out" book, so I can't wait to read yours.
    Another sober superhero steps out!

    �� Shawna

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  27. WooHoo! I've pre-ordered the Kindle version already. Well done you and may this be the start of your illustrious writing career!

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  28. SO HAPPY FOR YOU!! Love Jackie xxxx

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  29. Wheeeeee! And you're off.....! Hurrah, hurrah. Just reading these posts today.....isn,t it beyond amazing to know - KNOW! - that you have helped to change numerous lives for the better?? (And hell, probably SAVED a few...) How many people can say that!? I'm so happy for you. And so grateful to have found you within days of my embark on Dry January 2016. You absolutely helped to change my life, turn me from a course that was going to lead nowhere-good....thank you! Good on ya, SM/Clare!

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  30. CHAPEAU SoberMummy. I hope you are feeling very proud of yourself, a published author! Thank you so much for being so generous and sharing your journey. Big hugs, xx

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  31. Felicitaciones! Congratulations!! I feel joyous, knowing I knew you (well, you know what I mean) when!!!

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  32. Hooray! Will definitely buy your book and so grateful to you for sharing your journey and giving all of us such inspiration and wisdom.

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  33. Well, well done!!! Cant wait to read it! You deserve all of this as youve been such a hige inspiration and help to me. I was lucky enough to find you a month after i quit so was there every day waiting for your later instalment. There's no way I could have done it without you and i really hope your book helps lots of others realise there are other options xxx

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  34. Fantastic! I have been with you since the beginning, I think I stopped drinking a couple of weeks before you. We have come a long way. So I feel like I should tell you my name. You originally thought it was Mythreesomes, which was so funny. Hi Clare, I'm Sheila.

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    1. Hi Sheila! You'll still always be threesomes to me :-)

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  35. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your personal journey. It has helped me so much--I'm now just past day 500 and don't think I would have got this far without hearing how others like us get past the bottle of wine a day habit. And you seem more real now that you have a name. I look forward to reading your book.

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  36. Fantastic to have a definite date! I am off to pre-order a copy too.
    I'm a couple of weeks away from my 1st Soberversary but I still haven't really come out yet. When I tell my drinking friends I am AF, they are either horrified or bewildered. The "story" I give is that I did Sober October last year, then decided to stretch it to a year. I hoped that my drinking friends would lose interest, but they seem to expecting me to rejoin them in the pub any day soon. It's like you say SM, giving up alcohol is considered to be a bit weird.

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  37. Congratulations. It's always beautiful to see people succeed in sobriety and spread the word!
    Big hug Clare!
    Anne

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  38. Congratulations, I love your blog (its the best one I've read and the only one I keep coming back too). Very inspirational and engaging, you're clearly a talented writer and I wish you every success as an author. I can totally relate to your pre sober life and you articulate yourself so well with a sparkle of humour. I've never commented before and i'm sure there are many people like myself who benefit from your blog which you are not aware of (which is unfair to you as you cant measure its success, hence my post). I'm sure your book will be a great success and of great benefit to its readers, the very best of luck.

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  39. Wow just read the article!! It’s fab and OMG Clare you look a-Maz-Ing!!! You just look so radiant, and healthy, positively glowing!!
    I didn’t even read any comments because you know what, it doesn’t matter, some people will always hate and find negative things to say! Sod em!!! You should feel so proud of what you’ve done, I know for a fact I would not be over a year sober without your support and blog. You go girl!!!! Big hugs xxxx

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  40. Hi Clare,
    I came across your book by chance the other day and I am so relieved. From the first page I thought this is me and as I got further into the book it confirmed I had a problem. I have been inspired to "stop drinking and start living" Thank you thank you.

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  41. This is my second attempt to give up the booze. First time I gave up for 1 year and 2 months. I planned to go back drinking, so it was meant to be in 'MODERATION'. This didn't last for long and I was back drinking everyday, but more of it! I could have written your book, it's so me! I have given up again, this is my third month. I saw you on Lorraine's programme and had to buy your book as I'm still finding it hard at times, but after reading it, I am on the Becks Blue. It tastes like lager (even though, my drink was the Wine Witch and to top it up, Vodka as well.
    I just want some advice. Is it ok to drink non-alcoholic drinks? I should know better about drinking too much as I am a Qualified Nurse. I had my Liver Function test before I eventfully gave up and the result was very high so high, I had to go into my local hospital to be detoxed. If anyone out there can reply, I'd be so grateful? At the moment, I feel alone, but hoping the Becks can keep me strong! Claire, you are my inspiration!

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  42. They have a few large flat screens in the hall but not too many to make this a sports bar. It's all about the beer at home studios NYC here. Long lines of taps are behind each bar sporting an impressive array of craft libations.

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  43. Hi I'm a little late to the (sober) party. I bought your book on Wed & couldn't put it down. Am I able to go back & read your blog from the beginning. Sorry I've never read a blog before & no idea how they work. Thanks.xx.

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